The Powerpuff Girls has seen a number of different variations ever since it was first created in the early 2000s with even a new live-action version on the way, but do you remember when the franchise experimented with anime in Japan? That's right, The Powerpuff Girls actually got a full anime adaptation release in Japan and various other regions around the world but never got an official release in the United States. Titled Powerpuff Girls Z, this anime take on the fan favorite animated series was dramatically different than the original Cartoon Network series.
Produced by Cartoon Network Japan, Aniplex, and Toei Animation, Powerpuff Girls Z featured new character designs from Miho Shimogasa (Sailor Moon animation director) and changed the characters, setting, and overall premise of the original series to create something brand new without any real input from original creator Craig McCracken. It was basically a magical girl series featuring a new version of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup.
In this anime, Professor Utonium has a son and robot dog who end up crafting a suped up version of Chemical X known as "Chemical Z." But this caused major shifts in the climate, and (simplifying it a little) thus Utonium's son tries to stop it by blasting an iceberg with a Chemical Z infused ray. This sends broken pieces filled with Z across Tokyo City (or New Townsville depending on which version you're watching) and ends up giving super powers to a trio of eighth grade girls named Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup.
This also happens to power up an item each of them holds, and this becomes their central weapon in the anime series. From then on, the trio is then tasked with becoming transforming heroes who defend the city from others who have been hit by the Chemical Z blasts and become villains such as new takes on Mojo Jojo, HIM, and more. What's funny is that while you might not have heard of it, this 2006 series actually got an official English dubbed release.
Airing in the Philippines, Austrailia, and New Zealand, the English dub made a few changes to the original release to line it up more with the original series, but it was still an entirely different beast. It even had an official manga released during its run. It lasted quite a while too with over 50 episodes under its belt, but with no real high quality releases it remains one of the strangest aspects of The Powerpuff Girls' franchise history!
Did you know about The Powerpuff Girls' anime outing? Would you want to see more of Powerpuff Girls Z again someday? Which other Cartoon Network franchises would be a good fit for an anime of their own? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!